Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Things to Do In Belgium: Visiting 3 Cities in 3 Days


City breaks are really my thing at the minute - with work commitments and financial constraints, it's the easiest way to explore the world without breaking the bank. Shorter breaks also mean I can fit more countries in to my tight schedule! I booked a 3 day holiday to Belgium in March with my lovely (picking my descriptors carefully as I know she'll be reading this) sister/travelling companion. We anticipated a quiet, relaxing break, but we couldn't have been more wrong. It was a jam packed few days and we managed to visit 3 cities in 3 days. Here's my recommendations for a city break in Belgium:
 
1. Take a river cruise in Bruges
 
Ok, don't laugh....I didn't actually go on the river cruise myself - my sister was really keen to experience it but I saw a curvy woman with a similar body type to me take one unsteady step into the very narrow boat and almost capsize the whole thing. So that put me off the whole boat situation as there was no way I was taking an accidental dip in that freezing cold river. For people who have no fear, however, the river cruises were extremely popular and at approximately £7 they're fairly priced for a 30 minute tour to take in those views of Bruges that you can't see on foot. We did walk a similar route to the canal boat and I can vouch for the fact that the scenery is stunning and well worth the trip.
 
2.  Take pictures of the colourful buildings in Bruges Market Square (The Markt)
Pastel coloured buildings are the 'in' thing in the blogosphere at the moment, so what's not to love?! The architecture in The Markt is outstanding and one of the main attractions for tourists - it's in the heart of the city where you can hop into a horse & cart for a tour, climb 366 steps up to the top of the Belfry for 360 views of Bruges or drink in the vibrant atmosphere in one of the many restaurants. If you're looking for something to eat on a budget, I'd definitely recommend avoiding the cafes in the market square area - I nearly fell off my chair when I realised it would cost £11 for a very basic cheese toastie. It's the perfect place for a drink and lots of people watching though.

3. Be underwhelmed by the Manneken Pis in Brussels
If you research 'top things to do' in Brussels, the Manneken Pis (peeing boy) statue repeatedly comes up as a must-see. I do love a bit of history and architecture so I always try to catch a glimpse of these type of things when I'm travelling in a new city. So, my sister and I set off on our little adventure on the hunt for this peeing boy and well....we couldn't have been more underwhelmed if we tried. Although it looks as though it's a pretty big and impressive statue, it's actually so small that we walked right past it. The only reason we went back to it is because there was a number of people congregating at a small alcove in the wall and we wanted to see what all of the fuss was about. I mean, I was straining my eyeballs to get a view of one of the most over-hyped statues in the world. It's probably the most famous landmark in Brussels though and this little fella has been around since 1615 so I'd recommend a quick visit just to tick it off your list!              

4. Absorb the beautiful scenery and architecture in Ghent
If you're all about exploring an Old Town and capturing some of the most beautiful views, then Ghent will be the place for you. In my personal opinion, this place is so underrated - I was absolutely blown away by the views over the canal and it was by far one of my highlights of the trip. It's a historical city with lots of hustle and bustle and plenty to see and do. It's only a short journey from Brussels and the public transport is easily accessible. I'd make sure you book out a whole day for this so you can take your time to enjoy the buildings and scenery.

5. Eat way too many Belgian waffles in every city
It's just not possible to visit Belgium without sampling scoffing some freshly cooked Belgian waffles. Now I thought I'd tasted some good waffles in my lifetime until I visited Belgium but I can tell you that no one else can make waffles quiet like the Belgians. As you can see, I treated myself to this Nutella/strawberry combination and it was absolutely delicious. You'll find so many street stalls/quirky little cafes that sell Belgian waffles and there is so much choice when it comes to the toppings. I think I came back from this trip about 3 stone heavier but I have zero regrets.

Let me know in the comments if you have any more Belgium recommendations!
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1 comment

  1. I've been to Bruges and Brussels before - both have amazing Christmas markets! I'll add Ghent to my list :) x

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